Economy & Business

Parallels
7:29 am
Thu January 16, 2014

Do You Know Who Owns Your Favorite Liquor?

The Japanese drinks company Suntory plans to buy Beam Inc., which includes Jim Beam and Maker's Mark bourbon. They are shown next to Suntory's Yamazaki and Hakushu whiskies at Suntory headquarters in Tokyo on Tuesday. The deal makes Suntory one of the world's leading drinks companies in an industry where a handful of companies increasingly dominate the global market.
Issei Kato Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu January 16, 2014 2:18 pm

Liquor companies like to make drinkers think their favorite spirits always have been and always will be attached to a very particular place — Kentucky bourbon, Irish whiskey, Russian vodka.

But like many other industries, the liquor business has gone global, and a small number of players increasingly dominate the industry worldwide. The distilling may still be local, but ownership is definitely international.

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Business
6:32 am
Thu January 16, 2014

Retailers May Use Video Cameras To Track Shoppers

Originally published on Thu January 16, 2014 2:07 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And our last word in business is: Surveillance - not from the NSA, but from a store near you.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Retailers have long tracked activity in stores, with video cameras. Now, they have an option to track you. Security tech company 3VR has unveiled an in-store video camera that allegedly uses facial recognition to gauge your age, gender and mood.

INSKEEP: Retailers could use real-time information to customize digital signs - just as you are passing.

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Business
5:16 am
Thu January 16, 2014

Concerns Raised Over Banks' Commodities Holdings

Originally published on Thu January 16, 2014 2:07 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Big banks' control of commodities, like aluminum and oil, is drawing more scrutiny. The Federal Reserve is considering restricting banks' ability to trade and warehouse physical commodities.

And NPR's Yuki Noguchi reports, Democrats on the Senate Banking Committee believe the Fed isn't moving fast enough.

Under normal circumstances, the Fed bars bank holding companies from trading or owning commodities. The idea is a bank might be able to hoard a commodity to lower the supply and force up the price.

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Business
5:13 am
Thu January 16, 2014

Apple To Refund App Purchases Void Of Parental Consent

Originally published on Thu January 16, 2014 2:07 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Apple has agreed to compensate consumers who bought more than they realized from the company. The company will also fix a problem that led to some unauthorized spending.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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Business
5:10 am
Thu January 16, 2014

GM Shareholders To Receive Dividends Again

Originally published on Thu January 16, 2014 2:07 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

NPR's business news begins with a GM comeback.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

BLOCK: General Motors announced this week that for the first time in nearly six years, it will begin to pay cash dividends to its shareholders. GM stopped paying out dividends back in June of 2008, as it struggled to save money through the recession, bankruptcy and a government bailout.

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